First, let me be clear that I have nothing against the Lexus brand, they make great cars and my family love their cars.
That past experience has holded me back till now to write anything negative about Lexus but here is what has happened.
I replaced my two year old 3 series bmw with a 2013 Lexus RX350. Loved the vehicle, still do BUT I started hearing this very hard to notice (for anyone not sitting on the driver' seat) noise, it was coming from the left drive side seat belt column. On long trips and even shorter ones, a tiny bump or little wind will make the noise to be more constant and annoying. Long story short, I have taken the vehicle to Lexus service three times as of June 1st..
1st service: Cherry Hill, NJ. Made appointment, informed them of the problem, they said it will take a day for them to fix, gave me the loaner, came back and was told everything was fixed. Lead the service area only to realize that the issue was never fixed. On service receipt, it was stated that mechanic could not take the car for a test drive in the absence of the owner and was unable to reproduce the issue. Well, lexus never asked me to stay back to go for a test drive with their mechanic. Wasted my whole trip to the service department.
2nd appointment: Englewood, NJ
Told them the problem, got an appointment for Saturday. Upon arrival, I was told that noise cant be fixed since the noise mechanic only works during weekdays, seriously? Another appointment without a resolution to the manufacturer's fault. They could have told me to come by during weekdays.
3rd appt: Englewood, NJ.
Dropped the car on Friday May 24, 2013. It is June 1st and I am still driving the loaner. I am doubting my decision to switch to Lexus now. They sold us a car that had noise issues and clearly have not been able to remedy the problem.
If you spend 45k+ on a vehicle least expectation is to not give you any problems from day 1.
I had what I think was the same problem. The dealer replaced the seatbelt column. It was a spring rattling inside where you push the button in to release the belt. Problem solved. No more noise. (To get it to make the sound at a parked standstill in their service garage I simply walked the guy out, opened the door and we both stuck our heads in. Then i flicked my middle fingernail from my thumb robustly into the side of the column. Bing rattle bing rattle bing. They relaced it immediately. Done. Hope that helps you!